The lifestyles of the Rich and Famous are always to be desired by some people but little do they realize, at the end of the day we are all very much the same.
I have opened up here and decided to give you an inside glance at what can happen behind the doors of some of the most famous Californian estates:
If You’re Happy And You Know It ……..
On one occasion, I spent the morning teaching my two little friends, one five year old and the other just three, to sing a song – one of my favourites – ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands’. The older one (boy) picked it up very quickly and of course made his own little changes to suit the situation! His poor little sister became the sitting duck! ;
‘If you’re stupid and you know it clap your hands’, (he sang), and of course she did! I couldn’t help but laugh. Fortunately she had no idea! (A clever little so-and-so).
A Goodnight Kiss
Next it was my turn! Their two lovely parents were going out to a function but their mum had already left to set up for the event so it was only their dad we had to say goodbye to. As we were walking towards the door, he bent down to give them each a kiss goodnight and then it happened! I heard the little one say, “Daddy, what about a kiss for Pip?” Oh my goodness, beam me up Scotty!!
Four Little Pigs
Be careful what you wear! Even babysitting! One night I was ploughing through my version of The Three Little Pigs while sitting/kneeling on my knees next to my little friend desperately trying to get her to sleep! I had undone the button to my ever-so-slightly-far-too-tight jeans, just to make things a bit more comfortable – the Three Little Pigs does drag on – and I knew that the expansive view from behind would not be seen by anyone.
Well, I forgot the button and everything else only to find both parents standing at the bedroom door with large smiles on their faces – they’d got home early and crept upstairs!! Tracksuit pants from then on.
Whose are bigger than Whose?
The things children say! It was a lovely weekend and I had decided to take the children to the aquarium in the city. They were very excited and behaved extremely well from the time we left until we arrived to find quite a long queue outside the entrance – just what I was not expecting to have to deal with. There is only so much ‘waiting’ little kids can manage before the rot starts to set in. I thought it could be either – I need to go to the toilet, Can we go somewhere else, Look at that man who’s having a baby. I had no idea what Little Miss Big Mouth was about to say but I wish I had!!! As she stood facing me, with our toes just about touching and looking up, from out of her mouth came the most amazingly loud words: (Ready for it?)
‘Do you know something Pip? My mum’s boobs are so much bigger than yours!’
Pop Goes the Weasel
One of the most common subjects that little people love to discuss is the whole ‘breaking wind’ topic. Try as you may, they will always come back to it, so much so that on one occasion when I was asked during the course of a very long evening of child minding, if I had ever, ever ‘done one’, I made the regrettable mistake of saying ‘Yes! Of course! I do them all the time!’ Well we laughed for a while and finally they went to sleep. I thought nothing more of it but the next time I visited the family, we went through the ‘Goodbye, Have a lovely evening’ ritual with the parents, and then sat down to try and discuss what I was hoping to be an appropriate subject.
The discussion started along the right track but soon came back to, yes, you guessed it, wind. I could have managed I suppose, but this was how it was introduced: ‘You know the other night when you were here and you told us that you fart all the time, well my mum and dad said that that was quite normal. Did you know that
I couldn’t leave right then and there. I had to sit and wait for them and look them in the face knowing that my bodily functions had been discussed with the whole family. My lips are now sealed.
Attention To Detail
This story reminds me of another little problem that came my way one night. It’s hard enough to get down on the ground to play Lego and try and get interested in Barbie’s new camper van, but it’s even harder to get up. This night I had left the jeans behind and gone for the ever-so-stretchy leggings – I thought a good choice with the flexible nature of my job! Well I hadn’t expected them to give up so soon! While I was heaving myself up off the floor with the help of the coffee table, the back seam of my black leggings completely ripped apart – yes from crotch to waist. Oh dear – just another ‘Beam me up Scotty’ situation. It was made all the more embarrassing as both children and even the cat saw the ‘whole’ thing. Was this just a dream? Had this really happened? Yes, in fact it was my worst nightmare. What do I do? I did what I had to first – got the kids into bed and changed the subject as much as I could. The little one was crying because she thought they were my favourite pair!
They were finally asleep. I rang my sister and begged her to drive over to deliver a pair of the same look-alike leggings from the top drawer in my bedroom. She did. What a lifesaver!!!! I had managed to get through another incredible situation without a problem – well, so I thought. Two nights later I was back there having tried to put the whole (sorry) story out of my mind. My two little friends had not only told their parents about my ‘beautiful pants breaking’ but they had created a lovely memory for me on paper! They handed me, in front of their parents, a colourful picture in crayon where I could see a crying face with tears, my pink hoodie that I had worn and of course, a very large split in the leggings I had been wearing – but wait for it!!! They had even remembered to add the blue spotty underpants that had obviously been visible. How wonderful.
Beware the Monkey!
As a nanny you are forever meeting new children. There are the children you are paid to care for and then there are the childrens’ friends you are usually not paid to care for. Once I had to oversee an afternoon play date with two children and two of their friends. My little charges I had known since they were both babies – but I had no idea of who was coming to visit. One of the friends was what I have often referred to as a ‘monkey’. This is not a term of endearment. This is more to do with the ‘animal’ sense of the word. She was five and from the moment she entered the house, she would not let me go – literally! She hugged me, brushed my hair with her Barbie hairbrush, took my earrings off and put them back on, undid the buttons of my jacket, then did them up again, covered me in cushions so only my face was showing. I paid as little attention to the whole process as much as I could – it wasn’t easy – but I knew that as soon as I showed any interest in what she was doing, it would only get worse. The other children played happily together and seemed to accept what was going on as completely normal – there had been other victims obviously. It is just a little embarrassing when the mothers arrive home rather too early and your clothing is completely twisted, your hair looks like a complete birds nest, your shoes are on the wrong feet, your bag contents has been emptied out onto the coffee table for everyone to see and your lip gloss has been applied to not just your lips but to most of the bottom half of your face! Beware The Monkey!!
That’s a Nice Place To Take A Nap
Sometimes it is not just the children you have to look after as a nanny. I lived with a family for a few weeks and had three children to care for. Their mother was a very nice lady who had the never- ending need to entertain her friends – all – the – time!!! After dropping the children at school, I would often return to find her preparing food for the guests she has asked to come to lunch probably about 10 minute ago! The planning didn’t exist – it was always on the spur of the moment and so of course she needed help. That’s where I came in. Quick trips to the supermarket, the fruit shop, the cake shop and of course the wine cellars were all in a days work. The usual guests would arrive and the food and wine would flow until ‘school pick up time’ came around. Some women would leave looking the same as they had arrived – smart and in control. Some would be looking a little worse for wear but the lady of the house would always need ‘help’ to face the rest of the day. I remember after one of her lunches – a particularly ‘good’ one – she ‘let me’ clear away the plates and make room for the children’s afternoon tea that I had prepared. Because she was particularly unsteady on her legs this day, I helped her over to the large modular couch so she could relax while I went to collect the children. When I returned about ten minutes later, she had disappeared. Fortunately the children were busy devouring the fruit platter and did not notice me trying to help their sleeping mother off the floor! She had fallen off the side of the couch and only her feet were visible from where I was standing. She came too fairly quickly and all of a sudden became very, very interested in ‘what her little cherubs had been up to all day’! I’m sure they would have been VERY interested to know what their mother had been up to!!!
The job description for a position as a nanny can never have ALL the duties you will be expected to take care of but at least you will have plenty of opportunities, as you can see I have, to have many, many laughs – just one of the wonderful rewards that makes caring for little darlings worth its weight in GOLD.